A lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, on Friday issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the State Security Service (SSS), to release 13 aides of Yoruba nation secessionist agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Mr Olajengbesi decried the “refusal of the SSS to honour a clear order of court” granting his clients bail, and threatened to commence contempt proceedings against the Director General of the spy agency, Yusuf Bichi, if the court order was not complied with within 48 hours.
By planning to institute a contempt suit, the lawyer will be asking the court to jail Mr Bichi, if he fails to comply with the order releasing the detainees.
SSS operatives had, in a midnight raid on July 1, arrested 12 associates of Mr Igboho and killed two others at his Ibadan home, Oyo State.
The detainees include, Abdullateef Ofeyagbe, Amoda Babatunde (Aka Lady K), Tajudeen Erinoyen, Diakola Ademola, Abideen Shittu, and Jamiu Noah.
Others are Ayobami Donald, Adelabe Usman, Oluwafelumi Kunle, Raji Kazeem, Taiwo Opeyemi and Bamidele Sunday.
Following an application by Mr Olajengbesi, a Federal High Court judge in Abuja, Obiora Egwuatu, granted bail to the 12 aides on August 4.
But since meeting their bail conditions and and the judge’s order for their release served on the SSS some days ago, the detainees are still being held by the secret police without charge.
“Such blatant disregard for, and contemptuous, spiteful and insolent disrespect for an order of court if allowed to fester would undermine the very integrity of the court,” Mr Olajengbesi said on Friday.
He said the continued incarceration of Mr Igboho’s aides by the SSS amounts to “surrendering the freedom and rights of the twelve detainees to the whims and caprices of an agency that has gone rogue and thrives in willful disobedience of court orders.”
“In the light of this, we are giving the SSS, particularly its Director General, 48 hours and not an hour more, within which to fully obey and comply with the release order of the court in favour of all twelve detained associates of Mr Sunday Igboho or face contempt proceedings before a court of competent jurisdiction….,” Mr Olajengbesi warned.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the lawyer to five ‘Buhari-Must-Go’ activists, Tope Temokun, had to initiate a contempt suit against the SSS boss before they were released.
Inhumane, degrading treatment of the detainees
At the Friday briefing, Mr Olajengbesi revealed that his clients were being subjected to all forms of Inhumane treatment by the SSS.
Amoda Babatunde (Aka Lady K), the only female, is being forced by the SSS to change clothes before male detainees, the lawyer alleged.
He catalogued other acts of gross violation of the detainees’ rights to include sleeping on the bare floor of their cells and lack of access to medical doctors, as well as physical torture.
The detainees, he said, since their “abduction” by the secret police have been languishing in the latter’s dungeon without reprieve despite the subsisting court order granting them bail.
Three days ago, Mr Egwuatu struck out an application by the SSS against the bail granted some aides of Mr Igboho.
Following an application by Mr Olajengbesi, the judge, granted the detainees bail on August 4.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, however, the SSS filed an application urging the judge to reverse the bail granted four of the detainees.
The detainees’ lawyer had described the SSS’ application as “strange.’
The judge threw out the Nigerian secret police’s application following its withdrawal by the service’s lawyer, Idowu Awo.
Mr Awo said his agency had decided to file an appeal against the bail granted four out of the 12 detainees, instead of asking Mr Egwatu to reverse his previous ruling granting bail to them.
The judge subsequently struck out the motion following the no-objection response from the detainees’ lawyer, Sunday Adebayo.
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